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join us weekdays in the situation room from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. eastern. and at this time every weekend, on cnn international. the news continues next. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com hello. welcome to our viewers around the world. has the cnn special report on the ongoing crisis in japan. i'm don lemon. >> hello. over the next hour, an indepth look at the unbelievable tragedy that unfolded in japan in recent weeks, from the first tremors to a crushing tsunami, to the brink of a nuclear meltdown. >> and also the latest fallout from japan's nuclear disabled plant, and radiation exposure to
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the public and food supply. >> but first we have a disturbing story developing out of libya. >> there's video of an hysterical woman bursting into a tripoli hotel filled with journalists. her name is iman and she is screaming a horrifying story accusing 15 members of the militia of raping and beating her over a two-day movement. >> they moved to shut her up. all the while dragging her away from uncertain fate. they smashed cameras, including ours, trying to destroy the evidence. we did get this video of it. let's get to nick robertson who is staying at that hotel for more. >> reporter: the lady came into the hotel this morning. she was screaming. she was a middle aged woman. she seemed fairly respectable.
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she tried to tell journalists her story. she said she had been taken by government gunmen at a check point east of the city, detained against her will for two days. had her ankles bound, she had been beaten and raped. the injuries that you can see about her. rope burns on her wrists, ankles, bruises on her thighs and face seemed to corroborate what she was telling. the government officials jumped in here in the hotel. one even branding a pistol. jumped in, pulled her away from the journalists, man handled her away. jumped then on the journalists, kicking them, punching they will, even taking cnn's camera away. didn't just get broken in the scuffle. cnn's camera was taken away, systematically smashed by a government official in the corner of the restaurant here in the hotel. the woman later officials put a bag over her head as they tried to take her away of she was led away from the hotel, kicking and
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screaming. what this was, and as far as we can see, the government here leads us around this city, takes to us things they want to see, stage manages the situation. always portraying and showing government supporters. this was the first time someone had been brave enough to try and come on camera and speak against gadhafi's regime here. what we saw was something that weer in normally witness here. we see government officials responding to that negative talk about the regime by literally manhandling and moving this woman away and beating the journalists and taking their video and smashing their equipment. this is a side of the government that we don't normally see. this is a side of the government of position figures talk about a lot. this brutality by the regime of the people that are opposed to the regime. this was a firsthand account for us to witness that here in the hotel. nic robertson, cnn, tripoli,
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libya. >> thank you very much. and iman is one of the millions of libyans caught up in this conflict. the libyan rebels have seized control of the key city. they retreated after days of intense fighting. the libyan foreign ministry says coalition air stwriks the main factor. it is a gate way to libya's enormous oil field. >> the situation is very different to the west in misrata. the reuters news agency is reporting french war planes destroyed planes and helicopters. this after gadhafi started shelling once again. the rebels are trying to push back but they only have light weapons. tonight, a country rocked. entire villages swept away.
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>> translator: my wife, my son's family and four grandchildren. i lost them all. >> now an even more catastrophic nuclear threat. >> it is a very frightening situation. we can only hope for the best. >> from a company with a history of problems. >> just as you think you might have gotten control of one, another one goes. >> up next. japan. when disaster strikes. >> we're getting a much better idea of the status of all six nuclear reactors at the fukushima power plant. fresh water is flowing to most of them replacing the sea water that has been there the last two weeks. >> five and six are now considered safe. the other four are believed to have suffered some kind of damage to the reactor cores. for now they are said to be stable. >> the nuclear crisis far from
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over. let's get to martin savidge who is on the phone. bring us up to date. >> reporter: right now, as you point out, the fresh water is key here. what has happened over the last couple days, tons and tons of salt water to keep it cool. as you know, it is highly corrosive and especially in a heated involvement. it clogs up all sorts of things that can't be clogged if you're trying to cool a nuclear power plant. so flush everything out. especially flush out those crucial pumps. then hopefully you stand a chance of turning them on. we've been seeing this oh a week. when will they turn them on? they've been severely damaged. they're trying to replace the parts. those are really key here. the company is trying to get that right. the other concern, high levels of radiation that have shown up in the sea water right off the coast. i'm talking thousands of times what they should be. the government is saying, this radioactive iodine, it will have
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a half life of about eight days. we do not expect it to have any impact on people and they expect it to have a minimal effect on sea life there. but still, you have to wonder, where is it coming from? that's the real question. where are these leaks coming from? are they coming from some sort of breach in the core of the iraqors? or from those fuel pools? either way, it is not a good thing. >> and prime minister kan says they are a long way from this crisis being resolved. they seem to have stabilized the situation. is there a time frame now when they think this crisis may start to come to an end? >> reporter: no, there isn't. that's the thing that shocked us about that statement. first, how grim the assessment was, with the circumstances there at the daiichi nuclear plant. would you expect to hear some sort of an optimistic talk. it was anything about that. he almost implied that the worst may not be over just yet. still, they are stabilizing.
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what you find out is that just trying to keep thing where they are is a desperate battle. and they've had a number of major setbacks. the three employees that were exposed to radiation. that appears to have been a simple oversight. they did not really check the radiation levels in the environmental areas they were working in. they didn't appear to have the proper safety equipment. this raises the issue of, just how lax are the safety issues here with a company dealing with a major nuclear disaster? >> and the spokesman for the plant says this hazard could have been avoided if the contaminated water had been tested days earlier when it was first discovered. >> reporter: yeah. i sense a no-brainer. i'm not in the nuclear industry. but yet that does seem like something you would do. especially when you're going to be sending people, your employees into that environment there. they were apparently standing in water that was 10,000 times normal levels of radiation, wearing something like galoshes and boots. splashing around in it for 45 minutes. even though the radiation alert
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system they have, the little device was going off, they thought it was a false alarm. so this goes back to, what kind of training, what are you instilling in your employees and do they even know for their own safety how to operate? >> when they encourage people to leave the area, they've expanded that evacuation area where they say that if you can leave, you should. there has been some criticism of that. that leaves behind people who don't have the means to get out or they may be elderly. is there any word on what they may be doing for those people left behind? >> yes. this has been a quiet expansion of the evacuation. 20 kilometers, about 12 miles. they said anybody within ten kilometers beyond that, they can stay but you have to stay indoors. they quickly figured out, that's a problem. if people have to stay indoors, they aren't going to the grocery store, they aren't buying what they needs. so they're trapped. and we're talking maybe 70,000 people. that became too big a chore. the government said, it is probably wise if you all just
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leave. but like in the u.s. when you have a hurricane, you cannot force people out. there is no law for that. so you tell peel, they strongly advise them, they say you'd better register at city hall if you're going to stay. if they stay, it is a problem for the government. they can't really force them out. >> also a problem on where do they all go. marty savidge on the phone from tokyo. >> we should tell that you cnn is launching a new smart phone way for people around the world to help the victims in japan. throughout the special we'll show you this special black and white code which you can see onscreen. there is the code right there. >> if you scan the image with your smart phone, it loads our impact your world website automatically. no typing required. you will find links of charities helping the disaster victims in japan. keep a close eye. we'll be airing this symbol throughout the day so please keep your smart phones handy. >> coming up next, a look at how
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the disaster in japan unfolded. >> and how much radiation affects our daily lives. you may be surprised at the answer. ♪ [ male announcer ] every day thousands of parents are choosing children's advil. here's one story. my name is michelle. when my kids feel sick, i feel sick. i've been taking advil for myself, so i said if it's that fabulous for me, it should be just as wonderful for my children. i was so certain that i had made the right decision when i switched over to children's advil. when they come to me and i make them feel better with advil, i'm supermom.
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daiichi power plant. despite many layers of safety features, it fell victim to a perfect stop of unfortunate circumstances. >> on an ordinary friday, march 11th, then earth moved. 2:46 local time. a massive 9.0 earthquake rattles the core of daily life in japan with sustained shaking many people have never experienced. but the shaking underground was just the first sign of nature's fury. within an hour, a 30-foot wall of displaced water smashes into japan's north eastern coastline, obliterating everything in its path including emergency power generators at the fukushima dauchy nuclear power plant on the coast. five hours after the quake, shortly after 8:00 p.m., while the much of the country is deep in shock over the sheer scale of the destruction, the japanese government declares an emergency at the nuclear plant. no one yet foresees how a bad
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situation is continuing to spiral downward. the first hint comes less than three hours later. the plant's cooling systems, absolutely vital to keeping nuclear fuel containable are not working. the japanese people and the rest of the world are warned to brace for the worst. just a few hours later, at 2:00 a.m. saturday among, radiation levels at reactor number one begin to climb. by dawn, radiation levels at the plant's main gate are eight times higher than normal. a very troubling sign. 12 hours later, at 6:22 p.m., the first of three major explosions transformed three of the reactor buildings into charred hulks of concrete. hydrogen most likely generated from the melting fuel rods has built up inside the buildings and then blown up. officials say no harmful gases were released by the explosion. nonetheless work the hours later, 200,000 people within 12 miles of the plant are asked to
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evacuate. within days, officials warn that any or all of the iraqor cores are at risk of melting into a puddle of super hot radioactive metal. all but 50 of the plant's 800 workers are evacuated. those who stay behind know they are risking their lives to try to save countless others. 8:54 a.m. on. tuesday among, a fire breaks out in the cooling pond of reactor number four. it burns for two hours. a second fire follows the next day. shortly before 10:00 a.m. on thursday, helicopters dutch sea water on reactors number three and four in an effort to keep the fuel rods from melting. but the effort is deemed ineffective. trace amounts of radiation are found at nearby farms. over the weekend, special trucks begin dousing numbers three and four. it seems to be keeping it from getting worse will power is
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retoward to two, five and six. five days later, friday, march 25th. japanese officials make the announcement no one wants to hear. reactor number three may be leaking highly radioactive water. coming up, americans are concerned about their safety as many are around the world because of fear of radiation from japan. it could be in their food. we'll have a report from los angeles next. plus we'll talk with a nuclear and radiology expert about radiation fallout. ar alone there's been a 67% spike in companies embracing the cloud-- big clouds, small ones, public, private, even hybrid. your data and apps must move easily and securely to reach many clouds, not just one. that's why the network that connects, protects, and lets your data move fearlessly through the clouds means more than ever. [ female announcer ] sometimes you need tomorrow to finish what you started today.
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back to our coverage of the crisis in japan. fears of radiation could not attempt nagting food and water supplies has spread far beyond the tts of tokyo. >> thousands of miles away, markets in los angeles say little tokyo have their own concerns. ted rollins has that report.
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>> reporter: mei says she is concerned that the possibility that radiation could get into the food she buys from this japanese grocery store in los angeles. >> i really care about the food, actually. if from japan. i want to make sure. for example, the fish. i'm not going to buy anything. probably now is okay. but probably two or three months later, i'm not going to be able to buy any fish from japan. >> reporter: these noodles are made in tokyo. there are two concerns going on at this japanese market in los angeles. one, the customers are worried they won't be able to get their hands on products look that, made in japan so they're buying a lot of them. the other concerns revolve around radiation fears. fresh fish and vegetables, et cetera. about 30% of the fish in this market comes from japan. and folks here at the store say a lot of customers are concerned about radiation. >> a good amount of people come in and ask questions regarding whether the products have radiation.
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all of our products do come through the fda. they're inspected very tightly. so anything we get is safe. >> reporter: despite official reassurance that's the products have not affected the u.s., people, especially on the west coast, don't necessarily believe they're safe. >> i think the experts aren't telling us everything. >> reporter: why? >> they don't want to cause panic. >> the government has a vested interest in saying no. they're finding it in the food and water and in some people. so obviously it has some, there is some problem with it. whether it will come here or not, who knows? >> the fear touch as very basic part of our brain that fears the unseen danger. the advisories touch that part of our brain which is intellectual. the fear trumps that part of our brain that can intellectually process what the doctors are
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telling us. >> soba noodles from japan. >> reporter: experts say mei lee and others who buy from japan don't need to worry right now. but that doesn't mean they won't. cnn, los angeles. >> so fears of contaminated food are now spreading across the pacific. >> that's right. here to shed some light on it, the chair of nuclear and radiological engineering program at georgia tech. so thank you so much. are these fears really -- before the last time here in the united states, people in look, are these fears really concerning? is it relevant? >> not at all. we're too far from japan to be concerned for any kind of radiation at all will. >> let me pull put this to you. the levels of cesium and iodine are approaching the same levels as chernobyl. there is now some concern that when you look at what happened in chernobyl, some scientists believe that was responsible for
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thousands of cancers across europe. why is this different? >> well, the levels are nowhere close to what it was in chernobyl. in chernobyl, the reactor was totally different. it was an explosion that spread out the whole core. >> it is the iodine and the cesium. >> it is volatile and can get into the air. that's what i would worry about. >> so the concern is, if we're looking -- this is being detected by the meteorological service in austria which is set up to detect clandestine nuclear explosions. they're picking up these particles over western europe and the united states. why shouldn't we be concerned that that? >> they're extremely low. much, much lower than what you get walking around in the background, radiation. there is a whole lot more you get from radon in the air. just, you know, living in your
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surroundings. >> i want to read this. looking at the computer, if we can put up this animation. animation of a reactor to, in the yellow. look at this thing. there it is. so the core is in yellow. the containment flashing green to go along with the stories. that's a containment there, flashing green. the men are working near number three reactor. they step into the water. 10,000 times the amount normal in a radiation plant. this is what it looks like inside the core. the reactor is in yellow. the reactor core. the containment is flashing in green. so is this typical as we look at this animation? and you may not be an expert on this particular facility there. is this up the cal of a facility in the united states? facilities all over the world. are they made like this? if so, is there a particular
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concern about the way this one is made? the structure? >> no. there is no concern about the way this is made. this is how boiling water reactors are mayfield let me add to your description a little bit. the green part are the fuel rods. the yellow part is a very thick stainless steel pressure vessel. >> the green part at the bottom. >> from the top. from the top. the whole cylindrical shape is the reactor core. that's also the pressure vessel. the core is relatively small compared to that pressure vessel which is very big. all the reactors are built this way. these are boiling water reactors. there are about 40 of those but they're much newer than that. then there is pressurized water reactors that are different. they don't boil the water inside the core.
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they boil it in the secondary route. >> and again we just put that up there. i didn't mean to put you off guard. i've gotten e-mails and questions about people in the textile industry asking about yards and threads. they want to know, is it, does contamination stay inside whatever it is? will it be harmful? >> no, it wouldn't be harmful. i'm sure anything coming out of japan before it gets to the u.s. will be scanned. so i wouldn't worry at all. that's a very, very remote possibility, what you mentioned. >> professor, thanks so much. thank you for clarifying a few issues for us. >> we can never be too sure. >> i think we're dealing with possibilities here, that we don't know. >> coming up, how much radiation do you think you're exposed to on a daily basis? >> we'll go through that.
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and a list have everyday items that you're likely using around the house and we'll discuss the danger levels. [ sneezing ] ♪ [ male announcer ] what are you gonna miss when you have an allergy attack? benadryl® is more effective than claritin® at relieving your worst symptoms and works when you need it most. benadryl®. you can't pause life.
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and on another hand, you have your life with another. huh... but when you bundle them all together with nationwide insurance... ... they all work together perfectly-- and you could save 25%. wow... it's all in the wrists. ♪ nationwide is on your side across japan there is increasing concern about high levels of radiation because of the ongoing crisis at the fukushima plan. >> we live with radiation levels all the time. they're around us every single day. so what is safe? what isn't? dr. walter kern is here from emory university. i'll move around here and look at the thing we have on the table. the biggest concern when you talk about radiation, a lot of people john, and doctor, they think of the microwave.
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it emits radiation all the time. should we be concerned about what comes from this? >> a microwave does not emit ionized radiation as we're concerned that in japan. there are many forms of radiation, visible light, infrared and ionizing radiation. right now, our microwave tools, we've diminished the emission. but microwave is really used to move atoms quickly to heat them up. not the same kind. it has some risked but our tools -- >> i think the problem a lot of people have, there is a lot of information out there. we're hearing that there is no safe level of exposure to radiation. is that right? >> so i think, john, they're really talking about ionizing radiation. >> which is what these are. >> and these dose monitors monitor in that setting. most of the things we have in our homes and our offices have negligible amounts.
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>> the ipad, cell phone, even when you think about certain types of granite and marble -- no. >> you would probably find the greatest amount of ionizing in rock around the world. for instance, it is in natural ores around the world. so this would be the one that might show but not at the level that would be medically meaningful. >> the answer to your question, you said is there any acceptable levels? >> so the principle is as low as reasonably acceptable. >> the question what you are exposed to, like the cesium we're hearing about, once it is inside you, you have a problem. >> again, the people that i think we're most concerned about the nuclear reactor workers and the people in the immediate vicinity.
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what needs to be monitored over the next months and years is where is this activity getting into the food chain. i think particularly in the large boney fish offshore in the eastern pacific oceans is where the greatest risk is. that's high on the food chain. we hear the clouds of radioactive are drifting offshore. clearly milk, water, and all those. we're in a situation where we have a country very committed to control. we hear that the nuclear power plants are coming under control. our hope is that this will not continue to be the worst possible scenario. >> again, radiation emitted out of lots of household things including your television. all these monitors. it is around us all the time but they're acceptable levels and not the kind that would be emitted from a nuclear power plant. >> thank you. we really appreciate it. coming up here on cnn, compelling personal stories of survival in the wake have japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami. >> also, the latest developments
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on the war in libya. push your onstar button and you could be one of them. even if you're not an onstar customer. ♪ just push your blue button and tell the advisor you want to enter the onstar push on sweepstakes. ♪ but do it soon. no purchase necessary. see rules at onstar.com to enter without a blue onstar button. i know what works differently than many other allergy medications. omnaris. omnaris. to the nose! did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation. side effects may include headache, nosebleed and sore throat. [ inhales deeply ] i nipped my allergy symptoms in the bud. omnaris. ask your doctor. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. get omnaris for only $11 at omnaris.com.
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our special on crisis in japan continues. but first, here's a look at other stories making headlines right now. libyan rebels have seized the key eastern city. gadhafi's forces retreated after days of intense fighting. the libyan foreign minister said coalition air strikes were the
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main factor. a different story to the west in misrata. reuters is reporting that french war planes destroyed war sxlaens two helicopters at the as i base there. this after gadhafi's teams started shelling the city again. the rebels are trying to push back but they only have light weapons. hundreds of thousands of people marched in protest in london today. demonstrators are trying to stop proposed belt tightening by the british government. 157 people were arrested and several dozen were hurt including some officers when police stepped in. they think about 500 people were responsible for most of the trouble. welcome back to cnn's special report on the crisis in japan. first the latest on the crippled
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nuclear power plant. workers began pumping fresh water into several reactor cores that should flush out sea water used in the immediate emergency after the tsami. >> at least that's what they're hoping. two of the reactors, numbers five and six, are the least damage asked said to be safe. the other four are said to be in some sort of critical condition. all are believed to have damage to the reactor cores. for now they're not getting any worse which gives plant officials confidence to say reactors one, two, three, and four are stable right now. the numbers alone offer a clear picture of the suffering in japan. at the latest down, 27,478 people are dead or missing after the earthquake and tsunami. >> behind those numbers, there is this new reality which is emerging. funerals and clean-up crews are in tears as they work. >> reporter: in the new normal of japan's tsunami zone, there
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is no time to grieve. 16-year-old hiroki is underneath this blanket. his parents and two brothers drove his body to the emergency shelter for the best farewell they could offer in the wake of the tsunami. don't give up hope, hiroki's father tells his friends. keep living for my son. this carside tribute to a life stolen young ends in minutes. his father covered his teenage son and said goodbye. the disaster's toll is measured not just in damage but in human suffering. 93-year-old barely escaped the tsunami but is sick and getting worse by the day in the evacuation center. >> translator: i don't know what to do, says her granddaughter. i'm just trying to take this day by day. >> that's all any victim can do, she says.
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seven or eight of my family is missing, she says, including her oldest son, 8-year-old koto presumed dead. his body washed away from the school by the tsunami. of the 108 students at this elementary school, 77 are dead or missing. the school gutted by the tsunami. backpack after backpack sits for parents to retrieve, along with a picture of the school little league, the bats they used, art bags filled with crayons. i'm not okay, she says, of course i'm not. but i have another son. i can see he is pretending to be happy so we don't worry about him. so mother joins and pretends for her son and for herself. but pretending is not an option for city crews. victims themselves who cry as they work. >> translator: i don't want to
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lose my home town. i wanted to come back. we won't give up, he says. a fighting spirit that keeps this region from crumbling. the son who won't leave the wreckage of his home until he can find his parents' bodies. the home town boy who floegs rebuild despite that nearly every part of his town is leveled. and the newborn babies, just days old. small signs, say their homeless mothers, the next chapter in the rebirth of a region can be written. cnn in northern japan's tsunami zone. >> wow. as we mentioned earlier, cnn has new high-tech tools for smart phone users around the world who want to then disaster victims in japan. >> here's how it works. you scan this special black and white code that you see on your screen now. it will load cnn's impact your world website automatically on. no typing needed.
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just scan it. there you will find links to charities helping the victims of japan. the stories of devastation have overwhelmed us. >> but just as impressive, the stories of survival. coming up, the heroes emerging out of the destruction in japan.
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true heroes do come out. people who have nothing to gain and a lot to lose have gone to japan to do what they can. >> and martin savidge shares their stories. >> reporter: in northern japan, people began helping almost the moment the earth stopped moving. on foot, on water, the first heroes struggled to rescue anyone they could. eventually, a second wave of rescuers arrived from around the world including two firefighters from virginia. cnn's brian todd. >> reporter: tom carver and brad haywood have to move fast. someone could be waiting. they sledgehammer, kick, shoulder their way into every available opening. >> you look like you like to break things. >> yeah. he is that type a personality. >> reporter: they're called technical rescue specialists
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with the fairfax, virginia team. they're more like storm troopers. they have to barrel into the most dangerous structures after an earthquake or tsunami and look for survivors. they lower their way into unknown danger, contort into every possible opening. and ascend taller building that's seem to be on the verge of collapse. it is one of the most treacherous jobs you can imagine. >> getting aid to the survivors became crucial. american helicopters began delivering food, water and medicine. those choppers wouldn't have known where to land, were it not for one special sailor as i found out when i flew along. once in the air, the chopper's crew reports to a dispatch here then directs them to a village based on need. soon we're crossing the coast, passing over the rubble of another decimated community. landings here can be very treacherous, often in tight spaces. complicated by debris, steep terrain, as well as constantly changing wind and weather.
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on the ground in the village, we speak to the middle school english teacher. one of her students was among the dead. >> this is so helpful for us. thank you very much. >> reporter: tom allen is one of those disaster dispatchers, directing the traffic. >> it is the most rewarding job i've done in the navy yet. it is helping the japanese. >> reporter: as a new disaster became known, new heroes emerged. the employees of the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant, cnn's reporter reported on the scramble to prevent a nightmare. >> reporter: more than 600 workers are rotating in shifts, staying a few hundred meters from the reactors. they're working in harsh conditions, constantly putting themselves at risk. has the crisis enters its third week, they have confirmed there are at least 17 workers who have exceeded their radiation exposure limit. but continue to workday after day regardless of the
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potentially grave consequences. >> reporter: when she heard of the earthquake, she ran. what else would you do when you're a japanese marathon superstar? cnn's reporter caught up with her at the los angeles marathon. >> reporter: she decided she could best represent her beloved country by running. >> translator: as an athlete i want to run in order to give hope. even if it is only a little bit i can give right now. on race day, the people in the u.s. and around the world will think about japan if they see me. i want the japanese to know that everyone is watching over us. >> reporter: on the big day, the sky opened up, drenching runners to the bone. but she didn't let that stop her. >> translator: i don't know if i was my best today. i didn't win but it made me so, so happy to hear people around me cheering. go, japan. go, japan. >> reporter: finally, one last group of heroes. the ones who have suffered
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unimaginable loss, almost unbearable heartbreak. and who still struggle with the fallout of three back to back disasters. the people of japan. martin savidge, cnn, tokyo. coming up, analysts say the japanese economy survive this disaster about it won't be easy. >> when we come back, we'll tell you why the disaster could not have come at a worse time. i can't get rid of these weeds, or these nasal allergies. i know what works differently than many other allergy medications. omnaris. omnaris. to the nose! did you know nasal symptoms like congestion
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japan's disasters have done more than just destroy parts of the country's vital infrastructure, they put a dint in dent in the entire economy. >> the devastation in japan seems to be never ending. aftershocks are still jolting the nation, and many roads, bridges and ports are wiped out. the economy will survive, but it's not going to be easy. the timing of this couldn't be worse. japan just emerged from a recession. even though it's the world's third largest economy, if used
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to be two until china bumped japan last year. >> i think the japanese economy will take a substantial blow, no question about that. and it will recover, but it's going to take a year and a half or so. i think in terms of the impact outside of japan, it's going to be minor and small in the united states. >> many countries will feel the effects when it comes to goods exported from japan. some companies like sony, toshiba, texas instruments are all impacted by japan's severely damaged infrastructure, disrupting the supply chain, and it means some items could be in short supply like the ipad 2. all of this is a problem for a nation whose growth is dependent upon exports. exports make up 12% of japan's
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gdp. there's another concern, tourism. delta is temporarily cutting flights to japan because the demand isn't there. bookings have dropped significantly since the earthquake and tsunami. the ripple effect is huge. from airlines to hotel chains to restaurants and businesses that count on tourism, the price is costly. >> it's a significant amount of money, and a lot of that is going to go away because of what we're seeing, people will not travel to japan at this point in time, until the radiation issue is sorted through, and people understand what the real threat is today. i think once that gets handled, you'll see a quick recovery. >> much of that is going to depend on the future. >> if i can see a building that's fallen over, i see it, i
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get it, i know what happened. if there's something floating around in the air, and i don't know what that is, i may be concerned. >> long term, the outlook for japan is good. eventually the country will rebuild, and that will fuel economic recovery. gentleman participate has the money to fund those efforts, it's also a technologically advanced country. >> while it may be a hard thing to imagine at this point, the consensus is, japan will come back from this eventually. stephanie elan cnn, new york. >> it's hard to imagine how japan can pick up the pieces from such widespread death and destruction, but it certainly will. >> yes. when we come back, a look at japan's future a year from now. [ female announcer ] it's lobsterfest.
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hard to believe, it's only been two weeks since the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated parts of japan. >> we want to show you the fast turnaround some parts of the nation are already seeing. take a look at this, on the left is what the expressway looked like the day of the earthquake, and on the right, the same section, just six days later, they're working pretty fast. signs of resiliency japan will need as its people recover, john. >> kerry smith is an associate professor at brown university. thanks for being with us. >> how does this disaster
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compare with something like rebuilding after world war ii? can you compare the two? >> well, it's an interesting comparison, because the level of destruction in many of the photographs we're seeing in northeastern japan do remind people of the firebombings of tokyo, and the way many cities were left devastated at the end of world war ii. that said, there is the sense of part of japan's history with natural disasters that there is a possibility of a quick recovery and sustained recovery emerging out of this. >> there's also a problem looking at an aging population. we're looking at a country that's hugely indebt or ready. 200% of gdp. will japan get back to where it was? >> well, i think that what we were seeing in the last couple years with japan economically was a slow recovery, a growing awareness of the difficulties japan faces. as you mentioned, the aging
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population, and economic issues they've been dealing with. no sense that somehow japan was at the end of its possibilities. i do think that within the younger generations, and within the up area coming leadership in jap japan. there's a sense that japan is about to embark on something quite new and interesting. >> if there was one industry that you could look to that may be helping to save japan. some are talking about the pop cultur culture. it could be helping recovery of japan. which industry would you look to for that? >> well, i'm not sure there's one that we would point to and identify, because part of what we see happening in japan, both in recent decades and i think going-forward, is an increasing interdependency or or collection of industries that are working together to bring new forms of media, cultural

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CNN March 26, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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